One night I called a friend to chat. When she got on the line, I could’t speak. I literally couldn’t speak. It only lasted a few seconds and then all was normal. I didn’t think much about it.
Time went on and I noticed that I was forgetting things. I had to have things written down for me. Work was suffering, but I chalked it up to getting older. Hey, maybe it was menopause! For women of my age, everything is blamed on menopause. If it’s not menopause, then it’s stress. Wait! Maybe it was menopause AND stress! Yikes! Whatever it was, I had no time for it. I figured out how to work around my new deficiencies. I coped.
About a month after my nonverbal phone call, I had a physical. I offhandedly mentioned to the doc that I’d had a “brain stutter.” He went into full overblown doctor mode. Why didn’t I call? Why didn’t I go to the ER? It could have been a stroke! It might have been a stroke! You must have a CT scan. You must have a CT scan now! You must see a neurologist! It’s your migraines…I just know it’s your migraines! It went on and on. He’s not known for holding things in. Within two days I’d had a CT scan and seen the neurologist.
The neurologist he sent me to was a migraine specialist. After all, it just had to be my migraines! It wasn’t my migraines.
The neurologist sent me for a sleep study. I’ve always been an insomniac and she thought sleep deprivation might be the answer. While I was there all wired up, they noticed that my brainwaves were wonky. Now anyone who knows me knows that my brainwaves are always wonky. Heck, I have always had the very wonkiest of brainwaves!
The neurologist conferred with another neurologist who set me up for an EEG. My brainwaves were wonky there, too. This wasn’t especially surprising to me. I’d always known my brainwaves were a little suspect. Now I had proof!
I won’t bore you with the list of drug cocktails they forced on me. I only know that I missed a dose once when I was sleep deprived and I ended up having my first grand mal seizure. They call them tonic-clonic seizures now. Whatever they call them, I had one and then that wasn’t enough, I had another one right after the first one! My poor husband called an ambulance and I had my third seizure in the hospital. I don’t do things by half measure! By golly if I’m going to have one of something, why not three? Of course, I wasn’t actually thinking this at the time. I had lost my mind.
I had also lost my life, but more on that in Part 2….